Hey kids, what do you think is the most unexplored part of our planet? It’s not the depths of the rainforest. It’s not the burning deserts. It’s not even the frozen Arctic waste. The most unexplored parts of our planet are our oceans! We’re just beginning to realize what kind of incredible mysteries are hidden
Hey kids, what do you think is the most unexplored part of our planet? It’s not the depths of the rainforest. It’s not the burning deserts. It’s not even the frozen Arctic waste. The most unexplored parts of our planet are our oceans! We’re just beginning to realize what kind of incredible mysteries are hidden in the deep, dark waters.
Our oceans make up a huge part of our planet – over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by them! They help control the temperature of the planet, shape the weather, and are home to millions of living things.
The deepest part of our planet is the Mariana trench, near Japan and the Philippines. At it’s deepest point, it reaches 10,924 metres (or 6.78 miles) deep. That means if you were to take Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, and stick it at the deepest part of this trench, there would still be more than 2 kilometers of water over the top of it!
Fortunately, scientists have invented special deep water research cameras and vehicles that can reach into the cold, dark, high-pressure world of the deep sea. And what we’re starting to discover is that these dark, deep, freezing waters are filled with living things. Go down deep enough, and the living things you find look like aliens from another world; it’s discovering these strange creatures that makes science fun!
Imagine yourself stranded on the bottom of the ocean, with cold black water all around you. Suddenly, you see a light wiggling around in front of you. You’re drawn toward it, and wonder if maybe it’s something good to eat. You reach for it… and find yourself face-to-face with a mouthful of razor sharp teeth! You’ve just met an anglerfish.
An anglerfish is a hunter whose body is camouflaged to look like the floor of the ocean. In the middle of its head is a long tentacle with a sac on the end filled with glowing bacteria. The anglerfish hides itself on the ocean floor, and wiggles its tentacle around. Unsuspectitng fish are attracted to the worm-like tentacle, thinking it might make a tasty meal, and snap! They are chomped up by the anglerfish’s jaws, which look just like a mouth full of knives!
Have you ever seen those little grey pillbugs that you can find in the garden? They look like tiny grey tanks, and roll up into an armoured ball if they are threatened. Well at the bottom of the ocean, you can find an animal that looks just like one of those pillbugs – only it’s over a foot long!
But one of the most fearsome creatures in the ocean is the famous giant squid. For many years, people thought the giant squid was just a legend. Then whale watchers started to notice marks on the sides of some whales, like they’d been caught by a suction cup that was the size of a dinner plate! Finally, the bodies of some squid washed up on the shores of Newfoundland, and the squid went from science fiction to science fact! They can grow up to 13 metres long, and are wicked predators, snaring prey with the serrated suction cups on their tentacles and devouring them with their sharp beaks.
Even though we think we’ve explored the planet, we’ve really just scratched the surface. There’s a whole world left to explore under the sea!
Post by Sarah
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